An Ottawa-area family has received an outpouring of support from across Canada after being told they had to take down the boards of an outdoor rink in their front yard.

Cory Cosgrove, who’s built the outdoor rink for his three daughters during each of the past five winters, told CTV Ottawa that bylaw officers told him to move the boards, but later came back and told him to take the boards down after receiving a complaint from an angry neighbour.

The family was forced to remove the boards on Monday, which now sit in a pile in their backyard.

"We're just trying to create some good memories for our kids and taking down the boards this early in the season is, I think, challenging,” Cosgrove said.

Bylaw officers say the rink is in violation of three regulations:

  • possible damage to utility lines from stakes driven in the ground to put the boards up;
  • driver sight lines and the chances a puck could hit someone passing by;
  • and zoning rules that prevent permanent or temporary structures on front or side yards.

"It was entirely located on road allowance originally and we were really concerned about the safety of both the people that were using the rink as well as passersby and even vehicles that may be on the street,” said Roger Chapman, director of Bylaw and Regulatory Services with the City of Ottawa.

Since news of the Cosgrove’s situation broke earlier this week, the family has received support from local politicians, media personalities and even Canadian Olympic superstar Hayley Wickenheiser.

People in Ottawa have also offered to transport snow to the Cosgrove’s rink to be used as natural boards.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Stefan Keyes


With all of the concern around children getting enough physical activity and outdoor play and too much screen time, it is really disappointing that one of our neighbours complained to the city about our outdoor rink. Monday the boards have to come down. Thanks to the person(s) who complained, you have ruined our kids winter and wrecked the awesome childhood memories that we were trying to make for our girls. �������������� @cityofottawa #ruinedourchristmas #wethoughthockeywascanadassport #standupforhockey @ctvottawa @ctvottawamorninglive @carolannemeehan @jimwatsonottawa @terrymarcotte @newhot899 #saveCosgroveChristmas

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